MRI safety when one has permanent makeup before and after has been a question since the infamous “Dear Abby” letter in the 1980’s. The patient with permanent eyeliner had an MRI and felt a “heating up” or burning sensation during the MRI procedure. Is this cause for alarm, or a reason to NOT have an MRI if you have tattoos?
Magnetic Resonance Imaging was first discovered by Felix Block and Edward Purcell in 1946, and both were awarded the Nobel Prize in 1952. Within the late 70’s, the process began evolving to the technology we use for diagnosing illnesses in medicine today.
People have decorated themselves for thousands of years by way of makeup, jewelry, clothing, and traditional and cosmetic tattooing. Procedures such as eyeliner, eyebrows, lips, eye shadow, and cheek blush are generally done in the U.S. and round the world. Other procedures called “para-medical tattooing” are performed on scars (camouflage) and breast cancer survivors who have had reconstructive surgery having a nipple “graft” that is with a lack of color. In this kind of paramedical work, the grafted nipple created by the surgeon is tattooed an organic color to match the healthy breast.
Magnetic resonance imaging is routinely performed, particularly for diagnosing head, neck and brain regions where permanent cosmetics like eyeliner are generally applied. Because of few reports of burning sensations inside the tattooed area throughout an MRI, some medical technicians have questioned if they should perform MRI procedures on patients with permanent cosmetics.
Dr. Frank G. Shellock has conducted laboratory and clinical investigations in magnetic resonance imaging safety for over 20 years, and it has addressed the concerns noted above. A study was conducted of 135 subjects who underwent MR imaging after you have permanent cosmetics applied. Of such, only two individuals (1.5%) experienced problems associated with MR imaging. One subject reported a sensation of ‘slight tingling’ and also the other subject reported a sensation of ‘burning’, both transient in nature. According to Dr. Shellock’s research, traditional tattoos caused more issues with burning sensations in the region from the tattoo.
It really is interesting to note that many allergy symptoms to traditional tattoos start to occur when an individual is subjected to heat, such as sun exposure, or time spent in a hot steam room, or jacuzzi tub. Specific ingredients in the tattoo pigments such as cadmium yellow often cause irritation in a few individuals. The effect is swelling and itching in jjsegy areas of the tattoo. This usually subsides when being exposed to the warmth source ends. In the event the swelling continues, then this topical cream can be obtained from a physician (usually cortizone cream) to aid relieve the irritation.
Dr. Shellock recommends that those who have permanent cosmetics should advise their MRI technician. Because “artifacts” can show up on the results, it is important for that healthcare professional to understand what is causing the artifacts. These artifacts are predominantly related to the presence of pigments designed to use iron oxide or some other form of metal and occur in the immediate part of the tattoo or permanent makeup. Additionally, the technician can provide the sufferer a cold compress (a wet wash cloth) to use through the MRI procedure inside the rare case of a burning sensation inside the tattooed area.
In conclusion, it is clear to view that the benefits of owning an MRI outweigh the slight probability of a reaction from permanent makeup or traditional tattooing during the MRI. The science and art of permanent makeup goes by many people different names: micropigmentation, permanent cosmetics, derma pigmentation, intradermal cosmetics, dermagraphics and cosmetic tattoos. Because the procedures related to permanent makeup be a little more main stream the general public gets to be more mindful of the rewards, especially for individuals that have problems with illness, disease, injury or scarring. Inside my recent article “Building a Bridge: Cosmetic Plastic Surgery and Micropigmentation” I explored the relationship between cosmetic plastic surgery and permanent makeup. I would now like to discuss how permanent makeup can also work within the solution for many different medical conditions.